COVID-19 can be classified as an "occupational disease" or an "accident at work" under certain circumstances, according to new guidance from Germany.
COVID-19 will be recognized as an occupational disease if the insured person is exposed to a significantly higher risk of infection than the general population as a result of carrying out their professional activity. This applies to employees in health service, welfare work (e.g., daycare facilities, homes for the elderly), laboratories, and in so-called "other jobs" (e.g., hairdressers or opticians).
If recognized as an occupational disease, insured people are entitled to the following benefits:
- Curative treatment
- Benefits for professional and social participation
- Pension (in the event of a reduction in earning capacity of at least 20%)
- Care services
- Benefits to survivors
Similar benefits will be provided if COVID-19 is recognized as an accident at work. This may be the case if the infection does not occur in one of the above-mentioned fields of activity, but there is intensive professional contact with an index person infected with SARS-CoV-2. In addition, an outbreak in a company can also be considered a source of infection, and an infection on the way to work can also be recognized as an accident at work.
The accident at work does not have to be reported to the accident insurance institution by an on-call doctor, but it can be done using the so-called medical accident report, noted the guidance, which also includes information about medical imaging.
For more details, go to the original German document published on 16 September.